Help! Is my Chanel handbag authentic?

Tips & Advice

- written by Miranda Gillespie

You may have bought a pre-owned Chanel handbag or have your eye on one to purchase, but something may not seem quite right with the bag. We look at 5 of the most common traits that identify a Chanel bag as a replica:

chanel original chain

1. Hologram sticker

Any Chanel handbag from the late 1980s onwards will contain a hologram sticker containing a serial code which is 6 or 7 digits long, just like in the image to the left. The sticker is hidden down in the depths of your handbag and can be a tricky little thing to locate, but persist and you should be able to ultimately find it. If your bag does not have the hologram sticker or it looks nothing like the sticker in the image below, then this is a red flag about the authenticity of your handbag.

There is the possibility that the sticker could have come off the bag or become too faint to read, but these stickers are made to last and generally wear pretty well. The serial code in the left image is almost 20 years old and still pretty clear.

chanel original chain


On the internal stamp which specifies where your Chanel handbag was made, this should read either MADE IN FRANCE or MADE IN ITALY. Very very occasionally this is MADE IN SPAIN. This is never specified as made in Paris or any other country other than France or Italy (or occasionally Spain). The text on the stamp is always in UPPERCASE.

3. Chain

Take a look at the quality of the workmanship on the chain to the Chanel handbag strap, which may either be a full metal chain or chain interwoven with leather, like in the image to the right. You can see from that image that the parts of the strap where the chain joins are inconspicuous and largely hidden.

chanel cc

4. Hardware Colour

When the colour of the hardware on your Chanel bag is all gold or all silver, the colour of the text on the stamp will be the corresponding colour of gold or silver.

5. Interlocking CC

Last but not least, have a look at the CC logo, which may be stitched onto the bag or part of the hardware. Pay attention to which C overlaps which. Like in the image to the left, the top of the right C should overlap with the left C and the bottom of the left C should then overlap over the right C.

Also pay attention to the stitching, which will be very fine and even as opposed to large stitching which causes puffiness.


This is just a handful of examples of replica give-aways. We always recommend that you arrange for a specialist authenticator to look over any pre-owned Chanel handbag that you have bought or that you only buy from trusted sources where the handbag has already been authenticated. On that note, you can shop our latest selection of authenticated Chanel handbags here.